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Winston T. Robinson


Distinguished Flying Cross

Winston T. Robinson, from Rector, Arkansas, was a distinguished military graduate from Arkansas State University, 30 May 1964 with a B.S. degree in accounting and a Second Lieutenant's commission in the U.S. Army. After extensive training, he qualified to fly the "Huey" helicopter and deployed to Vietnam in October 1966. Through illustrious service, he quickly rose in rank. On September 6, 1967, Captain Robinson was killed in Vietnam (six weeks before his tour of duty would have ended) when his aircraft was caught in hostile ground fire. The tail rotor on his helicopter was shot off, causing him to lose control of the aircraft. Captain Robinson sacrificed himself. He maneuvered clear of troop-carrying-copters, veered into a thirty-foot arc toward the ground, and continued firing on the enemy. He suffered fatal head injuries when he crash landed. He was posthumously awarded the Air Medal, the Bronze Star, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

On 27 December 1966, Lieutenant Robinson was serving as aircraft commander of an aerial rocket artillery helicopter, participating in defense of Landing Zone Bird. Upon receiving a request for assistance from the besieged landing zone, Lieutenant Robinson volunteered to fly his aircraft into the battle area. Arriving over the battle site, he faced constant exposure to relentless, enemy fire to better observe and maintain contact with the platoon leader. He voluntarily flew low-level rocket attacks against automatic weapon positions. Flying so low, on one occasion, the back blast from his rockets set trees on fire. En route to English Air Field for refueling and rearming, his platoon monitored a request from the Hoi An district headquarters, being probed by Viet Cong. While his platoon leader investigated the report, Lieutenant Robinson voluntarily stayed close behind at low- level to suppress enemy attack. Under intense automatic weapons fire, he skillfully positioned his door gunners to return maximum fire power. He continued to fly all night lending excellent cover for his platoon leader's aircraft. These heroic actions earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.